As technology becomes more tightly interwoven with the fabric of life, humankind is rapidly evolving along with it. The computer is becoming us and we’re becoming the computer.
Unconvinced? When we get tired, we “crash.” We now multitask by necessity. And because we multitask frequently we tend to forget more, so we are in urgent need of “memory protection.” Those are three core attributes of central processing units, or the “CPU brains” of computers.
That our digital lifestyle is shaking up society is overwhelmingly evident:
- Digital natives – Today’s kids, appropriately named “Digital Natives,” are more proficient with technology than any generation before. The British communication authority Ofcom found that six-year-olds understand digital technology better than adults. Another example of their proficiency: 69% of children aged 2-5 can operate a computer mouse, but only 11% can tie their own shoelaces.
- Driving – The percentage of 19-year-olds in the U.S. who have driver’s licenses dropped from 87% in 1983 to 70% in 2010, underscoring the significant impact social media, video games and other digital pursuits are having on the population.
- Laptop wheelies – A status symbol of bygone days, slim attaché cases, have all but disappeared, only to be replaced by big cases on wheels with retractable handles, gear much better suited for lugging around digital cameras, iPhones, iPads, laptops and all their respective chargers.
- More important than life – In 2011, a 16-year-old Tampa teen jumped in front of a truck to save her iPod. Luckily she only broke a leg. But imagine her thought process: “My iPod or my life.”
- Social media – The fear of missing out, a phenomenon dubbed “FOMO,” is the driving force behind Facebook’s 1.6 billion active monthly users, the mobile ones checking Facebook as many as 14 times a day.
- Photoshopping – You may not know what “Gaussian blur” means but you’ve seen this Photoshop effect on television, where it’s frequently used to blur out sensitive elements. The editing of real-life details is now popularly known as “photoshopping,” today’s equivalent of “xeroxing.”
- Robots – Robots are taking over. The robot industry is now generating $25 billion in annual revenues, and 1.6 million robots are expected to be produced in 2015. That figure is limited to industrial robots — the home robot market is certain to explode by the 20s.
Would you jump in front of a truck to save your iPhone? And if not, how long could you live without your mobile phone? Talk about crimping your digital lifestyle! 🙂